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Early run too much to handle as MDI boys top Ellsworth

first_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Latest Posts Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Biocenter_img BAR HARBOR — For Justin Norwood, coaching boys’ basketball at Mount Desert Island High School for more than a decade hasn’t made the big games any easier.Sure, the MDI head coach of 11 seasons has won more than his fair share since he first took over, but few of those contests have come without him being one of the most anxious people in the building. During the buildup to the Trojans’ Senior Night game against Ellsworth on Thursday, Norwood would have been the first to admit just that.“I was pretty nervous all day and didn’t feel good,” Norwood said. “I get pretty worked up about certain games, and they [Ellsworth] were a good team coming in here.”Entering the game at 11-6, the Eagles certainly presented one of the toughest tests for an MDI team among Class B North’s elite. Yet while the Trojans’ head coach might have been nervous through the opening tip-off, it didn’t take long for his team to put him at ease.Ellsworth’s Darby Barry (left) and Jackson Curtis defend against MDI’s Derek Collin during the first half of a high school boys’ basketball game Feb. 8 in Bar Harbor. The Eagles and Trojans ended the season 11-7 and 15-3, respectively. BARRY GUTRADT PHOTOThis is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMDI opened the game on a 20-0 run Thursday en route to a resounding 65-35 win over Ellsworth at Bunny Parady Gymnasium. The result saw the Trojans’ and Eagles’ regular seasons end on very different notes in the final game before the upcoming state tournament.The home team came out firing right out of the gate to take a 6-0 lead inside the game’s first two minutes. With seven points from James McConomy and six from Derek Collin, MDI soon saw its lead grow to 8-0, 15-0 and 20-0 before Ellsworth finally stopped the bleeding with a basket from Dylan Taplin with 38 seconds left in the quarter.“We just got on one of those spurts that I’ve talked about all year and kept it going,” Norwood said. “Every player on the team was feeding off one another, and it’s suddenly this big advantage.”MDI stretched its lead to 37-11 at halftime and led by more than 30 for most of the second half. Ellsworth’s offense finally woke up in the fourth quarter, but the 15-point effort went in vain as the Trojans breezed to a Senior Night victory.McConomy led MDI (15-3) in scoring with 17 points, and Collin was second with 16. The Trojans also got nine points from Owen Mild, who rejoined the team along with fellow senior Andrew Phelps for one last home game after both players missed multiple games for injury reasons.“I’ll remember playing at MDI because it was like a family,” Mild said. “We’ve had so many great times together on and off the court.”Austin Harris had six points to lead the Eagles, whose 35 as a team were the fewest since a 49-24 loss against Hermon on Jan. 6. Seniors Zach Harris and Dylan Taplin added five points apiece for Ellsworth (11-7) in their final regular season games.MDI’s James McConomy defends against Ellsworth’s Dylan Taplin during the second half of a high school boys’ basketball game Feb. 8 in Bar Harbor. Both the Eagles and Trojans will be participating in the upcoming Class B North playoffs. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLThe loss was Ellsworth’s fourth in a row against MDI. The Eagles’ last win in the rivalry came when they beat the Trojans 62-59 on Feb. 4, 2016.“MDI is a physical team that always has good players, and they make it difficult on you no matter who you are,” Ellsworth head coach Peter Austin said. “It’s a tough loss, but it’s one we need to get over quickly if we’re going to have a good tournament.”No. 6 Ellsworth will get a chance to avenge the loss when it takes on No. 11 Orono (6-12) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Eagles are 2-0 this season against the Red Riots, whose leading scorer, Connor Robertson, is recovering from a knee injury he suffered in late January.With a win, the Eagles would face No. 3 Presque Isle (13-5) in the regional quarterfinals at 8 p.m. next Friday, Feb. 16. It would also mark the Eagles’ eighth victory in 10 games.“At this point, we’re still a lot better than we were at the beginning of the season,” Austin said. “Everybody has the green light to shoot, and everyone knows their roles because they’re more defined. Those are good things to have at this point in the season.”MDI, which received a bye as a result of clinching the No. 2 seed, is scheduled to face the winner of No. 7 Washington Academy (13-5) and No. 10 Maine Central Institute (9-9). That will be an early-morning game, tipping off at 9:05 a.m. next Saturday, Feb. 17.“It’s an odd start time, but it is what it is,” Norwood said. “We’ve done it before, and we’ve also been up early for practices on Saturdays in the past. We’ll be there and be ready to go.” Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more